Sous Vide: Pan-Fried Chicken

There are as many recipes for fried chicken as there are grandmothers.


Chicken, 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, and 2 drumettes.

Egg whites, 1-2.

Easy Peasy Chicken Crust:
Flour, 2 cups
Butter or shortening, 3 oz/90 g.
Pinch of salt.
Pinch of ground pepper.
Pinch of sugar.
1 Tablespoon baking powder.

Vegetable oil, approximately 0.5 cup/120 ml.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Kitchenaid type mixer or food processor.
Flat bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/30 cm. and 3″/90 mm deep.
Infrared or probe thermometer.


Serves 2
Level of difficulty 2.5

Above: Lipavi C10 container, N10 polycarbonate rack. Lipavi C10L lid.


Vacuum seal the chicken and process at
135 F/57 C for a minimum of 4 hours,  up to 8 hours, as per your convenience.

This process will pasteurize and preserve the chicken. You can pack several pieces in the same bag, but the contents must be confined to one layer only for uniform processing and safety purposes. There are advantages to packing each piece of chicken in a separate bag, with the possible exception of the wings. Individually packaged pieces are easier and faster to chill. They are also easier to organize in the refrigerator. If you just want to fry one piece of chicken at a time, you can do so without exposing the rest of the chicken to the elements–this extends shelf life!

Let sous vide work for you!
The chicken may be held in the bath at 135 F/57 C for up to 8 hours without any detectable difference in quality or wholesomeness.

After the time has elapsed remove the bags of chicken from the bath and submerge in iced/tap water until they achieve 70 F/21 C–about half an hour. Refrigerate to 40 F/4 C–this is necessary to assure food safety. As long as the bags are not opened, the chicken can be kept refrigerated in this state for at least two weeks.

Mix all the ingredients in the crust recipe using a Kitchen Aid type mixer with paddle or food processor. Gather your chicken–as many or as few pieces as you want to fry. I usually cut the breasts and the thighs in half so that everything is more or less the same size. Make sure the surface is completely dry.

Putting the chicken in a Ziploc gallon bag is just about the neatest way to do this. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I add a little bit of home dried parsley to my mix, I put a little parsley in almost everything.

Add 1 tablespoon of flour to assure a dry surface. Add one egg white to the bag to coat the chicken. If you add the whole egg, you will get a more doughy result.

Seal the bag and toss back and forth.

Remove most of the air from the bag and rub the pieces of chicken together a little more. Spread half of the remaining easy peasy breading mixture out on a sheet pan. Arrange the chicken on the breading mixture and sprinkle the other half of the breading mix. Make sure there is space between the pieces.

Push down lightly. Allow to rest for half an hour. to give the breading time to attach itself to the surface. Heat the skillet to
250 F/121 C.

Remove the chicken from the breading mixture and tap lightly to remove excess–stage onto parchment. Save the breading mixture in the refrigerator. If you notice clumps in it, sift in small batches through a basic kitchen strainer. Add the oil to the pan, and then the chicken–tongs make this safer. Do not crowd the pan. Smaller pieces will brown faster, so you can remove them to drain on a paper towel and add more. Maintain a consistent temperature in the pan. This takes a little love. A thermometer helps too!

Over-handling the chicken while it’s cooking may loosen the breading. I take deep breaths and watch, you can actually see the color change without flipping the chicken. I try to avoid flipping the chicken more than once, but this is a goal, not a necessity.

about half way through.

You’re going to love the way it looks.

Norm King


Frying and even baking will give you a crispy yet lacy and light crust. The shortening and baking powder prevent the coating from getting hard.
This coating can be applied to any piece of sous vide processed chicken, and even fish and other proteins. People always want to know how to get that crisp crust after sous vide, and this is my personal favorite..

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